2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because we were loyal to RC. We have been on 4 RC cruises and 3 on other cruise lines. We wanted to try Symphony of the seas because it was a new ship. We had been on Oasis 2 times and Freedom of the seas ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because we were loyal to RC. We have been on 4 RC cruises and 3 on other cruise lines. We wanted to try Symphony of the seas because it was a new ship. We had been on Oasis 2 times and Freedom of the seas one time. Oasis is almost exactly the same as Symphony and lower in price. Oasis and Freedom do not cater to children as much as the Symphony does. We don't like all the slides and children activities. They said there were only 400 or so children on the ship but it seemed like 2000 out of the 5000 or so that were on board. The problem is parents don't control their kids at all, they let them run free. They came into the Solarium which is adults only, they came out on the dance floor at nightclub Dazzles at 1130 at night when adults were trying to dance and have a good time. That is no place for children. They run up and down the halls at night at breakneck speed making all kinds of noise, these are not teenagers they are kids! Our complaining did no good at all. If i sink 4 grand into a cruise I expect to get 4 grand back in a good vacation. That was not the case. I would have gladly got off the ship after the second day if they would have given me just half of my money back. The ports we visited had at least 2 to 4 other ships in them at same time, needless to say, very crowded. Is there not a better way to control this? The ship is beautiful and the service and rooms were fine. But there were not enough bartenders during peak hours when needed the most. Elevators were a nightmare to say the least. We had a good time, we always do, but good grief when you go at the end of January you expect it to be an adult crowd with manners. But that's another thing, on this ship people bumped into you non stop or cut in front of you, oh but how cute their kids were screaming and slapping their feet up and down slap slap slap of sandals non stop. I'm sorry RC but we will go with another cruise line next time, besides that, your prices are among the highest out there and frankly you just are not worth it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Was interested in the newest biggest ship. Plenty to do onboard. The ship was missing a couple of things that were advertised. 1) The North Star, 2) The skydiving chamber. Having been on three different cruise lines, there wasn't much ... Read More
Was interested in the newest biggest ship. Plenty to do onboard. The ship was missing a couple of things that were advertised. 1) The North Star, 2) The skydiving chamber. Having been on three different cruise lines, there wasn't much difference in what is offered on the ship. If you are going to cruise, research who has the best rewards program for you and stick with it. The ship is nice, the cabin was larger than we had used before. Dining in the complimentary areas was average at best. We did not utilize any of the upcharge restaurants. Was a bit surprised they are charging extra for Johnny Rockets. At sailing the only entertainment options worth the mention are Hiro which was awesome, the other was the Royal Symphony and the High C's, they should tour off the ship. There was a classical gutarist who was a fixture of Central Park whos name I cannot remember (sincerest apologies) was very good also. The service was good, there were no lack of deck hands or servers willing to get you a drink or towel if needed. Time in ports (three) were shorter than usual. Eight hours or less at each. Went to Megen's bay excursion in USVI. Not worth the time in my estimation. I have seen better looking beaches in Pensacola. Welcome tours in St. Kitts (not a ship excursion) was worth the time. Went by to check next cruise out of curiosity, they wanted almost twice as much for the next cruise than I had given for this one from cruise planners. No benefit whatsoever to plan for the next one from them. Would not go again on this ship unless significantly less fare reduction. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
There is plenty to do on this ship. Every corner you turn you see something new so there are lots of wow moments to be had. You won't get bored. Entertainment was top notch. Get ready to walk walk walk, it's a big ship to ... Read More
There is plenty to do on this ship. Every corner you turn you see something new so there are lots of wow moments to be had. You won't get bored. Entertainment was top notch. Get ready to walk walk walk, it's a big ship to explore and to try and get it all in. It was a great cruise I will always remember. I become a platinum member while on the cruise. I asked about getting my pin and robes the day I turned from gold to platinum crown and anchor member. I was disappointed that I could not get the benefits of a platinum crown and anchor member till my next cruise. The lady I talked to didn't even seem excited like I was that I had become a platinum crown and anchor member. Guess I'm not a diamond or diamond plus, etc crown and anchor member so I was not very important to her. This was a disappointment for me. Some of the shops I went into they were not helpful. Not any customer service. Then some of them were very nice and helpful. Jewelry store was also concerned about my crown and anchor member status when helping us. Seem to be some shoddy folks working there and onboard. Some noses in the air. Did not get my percentage off of some items I bought. They didn't bother to tell us that we got a little discount. My husband is not experienced with gambling on cruise ships. He tired to play some table games, he heard about a promotion to earn points. At the end of the cruise he talked to the host and found out that he only qualified for 200 points but needed 400 in order to get a discount/promotion toward the next cruise. His points are only good for 1 year. After spending and losing $600.00 at the table he decided to call it quits. No drinks included for free either! Not Vegas that's for sure. But after all that we had a nice time and will sure tip toe around a few things that they offer on cruise ships. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my first cruise, with friends, and the total experience was spectacular, from the room, staff, food amenities...I couldn't have picked a better ship to spend my week on. Special shout out to waitress Mizchelle, a lovely young ... Read More
This was my first cruise, with friends, and the total experience was spectacular, from the room, staff, food amenities...I couldn't have picked a better ship to spend my week on. Special shout out to waitress Mizchelle, a lovely young woman who made sure every morsel of food was to my liking, her service was elegant and memorable. Our room staff member Nikolai made sure our evey need was taken care of and our room was always kept clean and fresh !!! Excursions were great especially "Blue Lagoon" in Nassau and "Swimming with the Dolphins" in St. Kitts. The food was perfect and if not to my liking (which it never was) was replaced with something else. My only concern was with the casino which was pretty smoky in the "non smoking" section. I think more needs to be done to keep the smoke in the "smoking section" only. There was plenty to do with shows and other entertainment going on all the time. I want to go on this cruise again, this time with family and Grandchildren. The Kids will LOVE this cruise because there is something to keep them entertained constantly, from the 10 story waterslide to the video game room, even a carousel in the 6th floor !!! AAAA+++++ Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our family had very wonderful experience with Symphony of the Seas to trip Caribbean for vacation 1/19-1/26/2019. one week on the ship travel, we feel excellent service, amazing shows and activity on the board, awesome food. On the ship ... Read More
Our family had very wonderful experience with Symphony of the Seas to trip Caribbean for vacation 1/19-1/26/2019. one week on the ship travel, we feel excellent service, amazing shows and activity on the board, awesome food. On the ship trip also you can enjoy beautiful view of Caribbean and islands. The waiters, Prabhu, and Junny did wonderful jobs for each customer. They gave us detail good information and services, also they provide very useful information for ship trip, such shows, activities etc. when they knew my wife birthday, they held service members to celebrate birthday for my wife. My wife enjoy a special birthday dinner on the ship. Our family will remember this wonderful birthday. Another amazing thing will be never forgotten for this trip. Our family visited ST. Tomas island. When we returned to the board, my wife lost ruby ring. After about 2 hours, my wife was aware of her ring lost. We asked cabin crews to help. The crews asked derail information about ring and quick found the ring in board entrance security area. Crews gave us a great helps and also let us have very happy vacation trip. We want to thank very much for the crews' helps. The crews of Symphony of the seas did excellent job for customers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Large ship with little going on. The rooms were small. No toiletries or robes supplied. Nothing to do most of the time. Art sales were mostly prints. Pizza spot was the only food available after 12. Drinks were not wrong. Shops were ... Read More
Large ship with little going on. The rooms were small. No toiletries or robes supplied. Nothing to do most of the time. Art sales were mostly prints. Pizza spot was the only food available after 12. Drinks were not wrong. Shops were expensive. Pictures were expensive. Lot of walking to get anywhere. Champagne handed out but only for an hour. Very cheap champagne. Water was only available for purchase. Everyone accepted cash as tips. 45$ a person for gratuities a day. Internet for cost. No cable or shows on tv, shows booked in full early, no view, alcohol package = watered down drinks, water on slides dirty, same food daily, children shows and daily happenings was all that was available on tv, everything was expensive. Meet the captain for a fee. See the captain for a fee. Elevators slow and crowded. Depressing nightlife. Many stores but little shops offering necessities or liquor. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Liked the design of the class of rcl ships that had a open rear, & a promenade on 1 level & a "Central Park" above. To enhance those features with the "Symphony" seemed intriguing. Separating the main eating ... Read More
Liked the design of the class of rcl ships that had a open rear, & a promenade on 1 level & a "Central Park" above. To enhance those features with the "Symphony" seemed intriguing. Separating the main eating areas: Solarium (front top), & Windjammer (rear top) dissipated crowding. And separating two show venues: Theater in front, & Aquatic show at rear also showed nice distribution of people. SHOWS; 'Hairspray", & "Hiro", were both energetic & breathtaking. The ice show production was magnificent. Getting a reservation for the shows were difficult. FOOD: Our past 3 cruises were gourmet follies. But our doubts about the varied food menus were overcome by masters of cooking. At the bottom of the totem pole was the all day pizza. It was very edible & ate there often late. At the top was a challenging, avant-garde restaurant called "Wonderbar". The food was mysterious, the waiter took over the ordering, & the eating experience was mystifying. "Jaimes' Italian" was our favorite easily. The main dinner floors had very tasty meals. The buffet areas : Solarium, & Windjammer did the impossible. They made the buffet experience enjoyable. How a ship for 5500 people can serve wonderful meals for a week is a miracle! ART. Every nook & cranny is filled with exciting art. I always relished the next step on the ship as we discovered the next installation. BEAN COUNTERS . RCL must have fired all who tried to skimp, & save. The Symphony of the Seas is extravagantly rich in service, design, & beauty. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Family Reunion I was traveling in a group of about 27 friends & family. Upon embarkation we were excited and the ship is really beautiful but there's a lot of wasted space with the gigantic pieces of Art work that span from ... Read More
Family Reunion I was traveling in a group of about 27 friends & family. Upon embarkation we were excited and the ship is really beautiful but there's a lot of wasted space with the gigantic pieces of Art work that span from decks 4-15 in the middle of ship. There were more activities for children than for adults. The DJ barely played any music. Thank god I had my bluetooth speaker and Pandora. We were 4 days on water and he barely played to keep folks entertained. I didn't bring my husband on this trip w/me and was thinking ooo wee, I'm gonna let my hair all the way down!! Well let me tell you by day 3 I wanted to swim home to my husband I was so bored. If it wasn't for the group we were travleing with; we made our own fun; the cruise would've been totally unbearable. The food was sub-par and the offerings in the Main dining room were very similar every night. The food in the Windjammer was better than the Main dining room. I ate pizza every night because I was never full or satisfied from dinner.This is only my 2nd cruise and I can tell you that Carnival is 10x better. The food on Carnival is superb. My husband loves seafood and is a big eater. We had Seafood or Steak and Lobster every night if we wanted on Carnival and my husband was oh so happy. The New York Strip steak on Royal tasted like a piece of fried calf liver. The Sous Chef tried to appease us because we really raised a lot of concerns regarding food but he couldn't even do that right. He supposedly catered to us and we could order anything we wanted, so keeping w/the Surf & Turf theme; I asked for a filet topped w/crab meat and bernaise sauce. He look at me dumbfounded and said oh we don't have crab meat. What?? This big ship and no crab meat. Oh that's right because the Maryland Crabcakes we had the 1st night were not made with real lump crab meat but w/ fake imitation crab meat. That pink & white stuff!!! I was also very offended because every show or comedian made mention to how crappy they thought Carnival was. I don't know who they were trying to impress because Carnival beat this brand new Royal Carribean HANDS DOWN!! I will never waste my hard-earned money on another Royal Carribean cruise. The only way I'd go again, is if it was free. The ship has a lot of expensive shops but only 1-dutyfree & 1 souvenir type shop. My room had a balcony but not a balcony facing water but an inside balcony facing other balconies, so there was really no privacy if I wanted to sit out w/my night clothes on. The cabin was nice and very modern but the bed was hard. The staff is awesome and they work sooo hard for the salary that they are paid; my hat is off to them!!! Royal Caribbean can take a cruise to where the sun don't shine! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I recently returned from a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Symphony of the Seas with my family of 7, and wanted to share the experience so others can know what to expect when sailing the largest ship afloat. I’ve always been ... Read More
I recently returned from a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Symphony of the Seas with my family of 7, and wanted to share the experience so others can know what to expect when sailing the largest ship afloat. I’ve always been an avid cruiser and big fan of Royal Caribbean, but this time they missed the mark… BY A LOT. Starting with the check-in at the terminal, there’s no help desk. I needed to make a change to my drink package and switch people’s room assignments and was told I had to do it once on board the ship at Guest Services (GS). This didn’t seem like a big deal at the time until I realized they direct 6,800 people to one line at Guest Services for questions and changes. I just boarded the “coolest” ship afloat and get to wait in line for over an hour to speak with a GS agent. Great start. Additionally, no one explains where to get your room key, make reservations, or collect your bags during the check-in process. For frequent sailors, you may know this, but for some of my family who was cruising for the first time, they did not. It should be standard etiquette to explain to customers that your room key will be outside your room, you’ll want to make show and dinner reservations once on board, and your bags will arrive at your stateroom. This just shows the level of disconnect they have from their passengers. The ultimate goal is to board and deboard as many passengers as quick as possible, with little regard for providing useful information. After speaking with Guest Services, we went to our rooms to get our SeaPass cards and acquaint ourselves with the ship. We attended the muster drill and then headed downstairs to make reservations for the shows, as listed on the daily calendar. The Adult Comedy show was completely sold out, Hairspray had one show time available, but it overlapped with our specialty dinner, which they couldn’t reschedule, the Ice Skating show had one available time at 10:30pm, and the Rubicon Escape room was also sold out. We had been on board the ship for less than 2 hours and most everything was fully booked. I asked if there was a supervisor who may be able to assist me and they directed me back to Guest Services. Terrific, I get to wait in line… AGAIN. Lines turned out to be a common theme on the trip. The majority of bars, shows, and restaurants had lines, and the ship constantly felt crowded. We tried to make dinner reservations at the main dining hall under “my time dining” at 4:30pm the first day and were told reservations stopped at 3pm. We were barely onboard the ship at that time and they offered no flexibility. Upon showing up to eat at 8pm, we were told it would be close to 30 minutes before we could be seated. We also tried making reservations at the specialty restaurants Wonderland and the Habachi Grill, without any luck the entire trip. *They allowed a company sales trip on board to book out several areas and restaurants during portions of the trip that prevented other passengers from eating or lounging there. I understand the concept and I’m sure it was good business for RC, but it just added to the feeling that our options were limited and many advertised amenities were not actually available. These events just kept piling on and created a very stressful situation. Unlike other cruises I’ve been on, where lots of the enjoyment comes from the freedom to plan last minute or, perhaps, not at all, this experience was very different. It appeared the expectation was to have all our shows and dinners pre-booked before boarding. If this was the expectation, than it should have been shared with us during the booking process. Due to all the inconveniences, the Asst Guest Services Mgr offered me a 25% credit of what I spent on the booking towards a future cruise. I thought this was a very kind gesture and most likely would have taken advantage of it… but the offer was more selfishly driven than advertised. What she provided was all 7 passenegers 25% towards a future cruise that had to be completed in less than 1 year. So, despite that fact I paid for everyone’s booking, everyone received a portion of the credit that only they could use. To top it off, I received the least amount of anyone and my 14yr old nephew received one of the most. The irony is incredible. The manager said she would try and have the credit added to just my name and that she would follow up with me, but I never heard back after the trip and my calls to their office in the Philippines offered no support or means of escalation. Their exact verbage was “we cannot transfer you to a supervisor, but we can forward your request to the email department, but I cannot guarantee IF, or WHEN, they will get back to you, because we are very busy.” I’m sorry to have bothered you RC, but I will not be enticed by your feeble attempt to make up for the poor experience we had while on board your newest and “greatest” ship by spending another large sum on a subsequent journey. The goal should have been to get me back on board so I could have a better experience that would lead me to booking more cruises with RC. Asking me to rebook my entire family who lives across the country and complete the trip in less than a year is just insulting. Out of fairness, the ship is large and beautiful and the staff very polite and friendly, but sailing the largest ship in the world feels more like going to a crowded amusement park than a luxury getaway. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Symphony of the Seas is a virtual carbon copy of the Oasis of the Seas which we sailed on in 2011. So we knew we would enjoy the boat. It is hard to believe you are on a ship and not at a luxury resort complex. The ports for us were ... Read More
Symphony of the Seas is a virtual carbon copy of the Oasis of the Seas which we sailed on in 2011. So we knew we would enjoy the boat. It is hard to believe you are on a ship and not at a luxury resort complex. The ports for us were of little consequence, this was a winter getaway. The only new port for us was St. Kitts and we enjoyed it. We took the Brimstone Fort and Fairfield House excursion and it was pleasant and worth it. St. Thomas is kind of a nothing port to us. We took an excursion in 2011 to Magen's Bay which is scenic but crowded. The rest of the island is pretty much squalor. Nassau was better than in 2011 when it was chaotic and a little uncomfortable. It is now better looking and organized. With 5 ships in port there were 20,000 potential cruisers, so it was also quite crowded, but not unpleasantly so. Our cabin on deck 11 was great as was our cabin steward Estuardo. Be prepared to do a lot of walking to everything, this ship is huge. One beef is the intentional slow elevator service. They just take forever to come and it is not because of the crowds. I say intentional because the other elevators in the bank are not moving even though you called for one. They must only run a few at a time based on some algorithm. Not a customer friendly idea. One other thing to note, when you enter your cabin you must insert your cruise card in the slot by the door and leave it there to activate the lights. If you don't, you will have no lights. Which is fine, but how about a sign telling you that. The main dining room experience was fabulous. The food was wonderful, as was the service by our waiter Maryna and her assistant Dakshey. The Windjammer dining was also enjoyable. Great variety and never so crowded that you could not quickly find a table. The only negative there was the actions of a floor supervisor. He spent his time loudly reprimanding several employees on the dining room floor within easy earshot of our table. This power-drunk supervisor made us very uncomfortable. Whatever minor transgression these employees committed was nothing compared to how uncomfortable he made us paying customers feel with his belittling of employees in front of us. Royal should reign this guy in. The entertainment was the only real disappointment. The High C's Horns were the only enjoyable entertainment on board and they were great. All of the other entertainment was ruined by the ridiculous decibel level of the shows. The sound engineers at all of these shows must be deaf because the volume is at a painful level. My wife and I both wore earplugs at all shows and walked out of the HiRO Aqua theater show because it was still too loud. Royal Caribbean needs to address this ridiculous practice. My decibel app showed readings over 110 decibels. Why does Royal want to make the entertainment experience so unpleasant? We have been on 11 cruises, 4 others on Royal and never experienced this before. Get a clue Royal, turn down the volume, we can hear it just fine. Loud does not equal exciting. Overall this cruise met our expectations except for the misguided volume levels at the shows. Read Less
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.0
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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